Ransomware Attack Disables Campbell County Health Services

A ransomware attack at Campbell County Health has disrupted hospital services and left the organization unable to access patient information. 

Campbell County Health, based in Gillette, Wyoming, stated that the ransomware attack began at 3:30 am on Friday, September 20, 2019. The attack caused ‘serious computer issues’ and left the hospital unable to offer many of its services, including respiratory therapy or radiology exams. 

Campbell County Health has been unable to access patient databases since the attack, and as a result, have had to cancel some surgeries and stop accepting new inpatient admissions. The walk-in clinic remained open during the attack. 

Once the attack was discovered, Campbell County Health immediately launched efforts to remove the ransomware and return the systems to normal. The facility is also attempting to restore encrypted files using backups. 

Campbell County Health reports that all of its systems have been affected. At this stage, no evidence has been uncovered to suggest that patient information has been subjected to unauthorized access or misused.

The Emergency Department, Maternal Child (OB) department, and the Walk-In Clinic remain open, and staff are on hand to triage and treat patients. Campbell County Health attempted to redirect patients to appropriate care facilities if the situation warranted such action. The County’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has additional ambulances to meet demand. 

“We have processes in place to continue to treat inpatients appropriately and safely,” said Colleen Heeter, CCH chief operating officer, said in a statement.

“Campbell County Health is very concerned about the security of information and the safety of our patients and employees,” officials said in a statement. “We understand the concern that the community has regarding this as well.

Patients already receiving care are being attended to by staff and individuals who receive a higher level of care will be transferred to other facilities.

Once the incident was confirmed to be a ransomware attack, the appropriate authorities were notified, including the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security. At this stage, it is unclear how the ransomware was installed, whether file recovery is possible, or if the ransom demand will be paid.

Campbell County Health is not able to provide an estimate as to when their services shall return to normal. The telephone system has now been brought back online, and regular updates on the attack and the status of patient services are being posted on the Campbell County Health website.

The attack is the latest in a string of ransomware attacks on healthcare facilities, cities, municipalities and government agencies.

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Emma Taylor

Emma Taylor is the contributing editor of Defensorum. Emma started on Defensorum as a news writer in 2017 and was promoted to editor in 2022. Emma has written and edited several hundred articles related to IT security and has developed a deep understanding of the sector. You can follow Emma on https://twitter.com/defensorum and contact Emma at emmataylor@defensorum.com.